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What Do Cupcakes Have to Do with Affirmative Action?: Making the Invisible Visible IAFC Leadership Summit 2005 Washington DC Presentation by: Steve L.

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Presentation on theme: "What Do Cupcakes Have to Do with Affirmative Action?: Making the Invisible Visible IAFC Leadership Summit 2005 Washington DC Presentation by: Steve L."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Do Cupcakes Have to Do with Affirmative Action?: Making the Invisible Visible IAFC Leadership Summit 2005 Washington DC Presentation by: Steve L. Robbins, Ph.D. S.L. Robbins & Associates

2 Affirmative Action A controversial, touchy subject I Love White Guys!

3 Main Points Challenge ourselves to see things that might be currently invisible We all make mistakes Gut reactions Checking our gut reactions

4 Can You Add? What is 9 + 1? Answer = 10 What is 9 + 2? Answer = 11 What is 9 + 3? Answer = 12 What is 9 + 4? Answer = 13

5 Can You Add? What else can the sum of be if it is not 13? = 13 in a Base 10 math context = (12) 1 in a Base 12 context What do you know? What don’t you know?

6 Cognitive Dissonance An anxious, uncomfortable state that humans do like like to be in We try to get of CD very quickly Natural tendency to ignore or dismiss new, CD producing information Harder to entertain new ideas

7 Entertaining New Ideas “The measure of a great (person) is the ability to entertain new ideas without necessarily having to accept them.” (Aristotle) Cognitively and emotionally difficult to entertain new ideas We interpret info through unique lenses and filters

8 A Bit About “Culture” “Culture is the acquired knowledge people use to interpret experience and generate behavior.” (James Spradley) Partly explains the different reactions of African Americans and Whites to the response to Katrina The person who grows up in poverty in inner city Los Angeles CA will see the world differently that the one who grows up upper class in Brentwood, CA

9 Are You NICE? Not Inclined to Critically Examine

10 Two Worlds Conceptual Operational Example: Meritocracy How do John Kerry and George W. Bush get into Yale with “C” averages in H.S.?

11 Review: Unintentional Intolerance Mindlessness + Multiple Redundant Messages = Unintentional Intolerance

12 Mindlessness We live life rather mindlessly everyday Brain helps us to be more efficient Brain writes cognitive scripts Examples of CGs

13 Multiple Redundant Messages Many messages can impact us without us knowing it Burger King & “Branding” NIKE Easy to build “brands”

14 Unintentional Intolerance in Action Example “TOP” I can get you to give me the wrong answer when you know the right one

15 Unintentional Intolerance in Action Example: Hiring Value= Formal Education 4 yr degree

16 Unintentional Intolerance in Action General Pop. = 25% Whites = 35% People of Color = 15% Example: Resumes

17 Unintentional Intolerance in Action General Pop. = 25% Throw away 75% Whites = 35% Throw away 65% People of Color = 15% Throw away 85%

18 What is Affirmative Action? O n March 6, 1961 President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order The intent of this executive order was to affirm the government's commitment to equal opportunity for all qualified persons, and to take positive action to strengthen efforts to realize true equal opportunity for all. It was superseded by Executive Order in 1965.

19 What is Affirmative Action? O n September 24, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246, prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin by those organizations receiving federal contracts and subcontracts. Its basic intent was to recognize and do away with formal and informal barriers that historically prevented underrepresented groups (i.e. “minorities”) from opportunities afforded to the rest of the population.

20 Myths About AA Myth 1: We now have a level playing field and AA is not needed anymore. Reality: Though progress has been made, people of color and women are still more likely to be unemployed, employed at lower wages, and hold jobs with a lower base pay. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Glass Ceiling Commission Report of 1995 and subsequent reports state that while white men make up approx. 40% of the Fortune 2000 workforce, they hold more than 90% of senior management jobs.

21 Some Fire Service Stats As of the year 2000, women make up 47% of the U.S. labor force. Approximately 5,200 women work as full-time career firefighters and officers, representing just over 2% of the total. In 1998, there were 27,000 African-American and 9,000 Hispanic career firefighters, representing 11.8% and 3.9% of the total respectively. Where is the fire service in 2005? Gains have been made, but there is more to do.

22 Myths About AA Myth 2: Affirmative Action is just reverse discrimination against white men. Reality: Affirmative action merely enables people who might otherwise be shut out, to get their foot in the door. Affirmative action permits factors such as race, gender and national origin to be considered when hiring or admitting qualified applicants, keeping the doors of opportunity which had been historically closed to some, open to all.

23 Myths About AA Myth 3: Affirmative Action is just a quota system. Reality: Quotas are illegal. With affirmative action, federal contractors and employers must establish goals and timetables and make good faith efforts to meet them. But a legal affirmative action plan does not include quotas.

24 Myths About AA Myth 3: Affirmative Action is just a quota system. Reality: Quotas are illegal. With affirmative action, federal contractors and employers must establish goals and timetables and make good faith efforts to meet them. But a legal affirmative action plan does not include quotas.

25 U of Michigan Cases Two AA Cases: Graduate School and Undergraduate School Supreme court rules that race can still be a factor Supreme court is okay with graduate school process, but tells Michigan it must change its undergrad process of awarding up to 150 points to applicants

26 Cupcakes and AA Spring GVSU College Republicans hold a an Anti- Affirmative Action “Cupcake” sale Message: “In 2005, the deck is stacked against white guys.” “White guys can’t make it anymore.”

27 At the Cupcake Sale White males pay $2.00 Asian Americans pay.75 cents African Americans/Women pay.50 cents Latinos/Hispanics pay.25 cents Native Americans pay.05 cents It’s not FAIR!

28 What’s the Problem? Assumption: The playing field is level. Everyone starts out with the same amount. Video Excerpt: “Race” The Power of an Illusion

29 Back to the Michigan Case 150 point process used to narrow the pool No “unqualified” person is getting in

30 The Big Stink Of the 150 points… 20 points for under-represented minorities (racial pref points) “They get 20 points just for being minorities” That’s not fair to white people

31 The Invisible Points Of the 150 points… 20 points if you are poor (can’t be combined with “minority points) (white points) 16 points if you come from the U.P. (white points) 10 points for attending top H.S. (white points)

32 The Invisible Points 8 points for taking AP/Honors courses (white points) 4 points if parents are alums (white points) Total of 58 points that operate as “white racial preference” points But people get mad at the 20 points for under-represented minorities

33 Making the Invisible Visible Giving your folks more knowledge about AA can help them see the need for “Affirming Action” approaches It will help them change their lenses and filters “The Greatest” by Kenny Rogers

34 Thank You! “Justice requires those who suffer the least to speak up the most.”


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